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Author Topic: Anyone raised Orthodox?  (Read 1947 times)
StefanieMichelle
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« Topic Start: December 12, 2010, 11:49:01 am »

Was anyone else raised Orthodox Christian? Particularly Greek/Russian. I was baptised and raised in that church, first in a more Russian church (Which liturgies were conducted in english) and then in a church conducted almost entirely in Greek. It is a very old, very strict religion. Though my father (a chokingly avid Orthodox Christian) tries to claim they are less judgemental than other christian religions, I find this untrue. They are so traditional, every single aspect of the church has been the same as long as the church has existed (or so they believe). My father sees change as a sign of weakness where I see it as strength. I have a lot of anger over my upbringing, I love my father but he forced the religion onto me and is still forcing it on to my younger sisters. Who, like me, will grow up and simply refuse to go or care.

My main issue is first of all many core beliefs (i.e. You fast, serve, be nice to everyone unless they are gay or different from you, or you will rot in hell), as well as the complete TRADITION of every damn thing. Sunday church is the same every week, though the gospel reading changes depending on the week (which is specific to the date and the same every year), the only changing thing is the sermon. Which, of course, I had to listen to in Greek, then english Tongue

 They shun anything modern or new. When I was fourteen I joined a youth group for a protestant church which was much more liberal, and it renewed my faith termporarily. I wanted to go to the protestant church, not just their group, but dad of course said "You can go, but it is an incomplete truth. The Orthodox church is the true way blah blah blah" In case it wasnt clear I have some issues with my upbringing. Did anyone else grow up in this church? Any Greek Orthodox specific isssues or christian issues in general? I would love to find someone who relates to my very very traditional ex church.
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Stormwalker
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« Reply #1: December 15, 2010, 09:09:21 am »

Did anyone else grow up in this church? Any Greek Orthodox specific isssues or christian issues in general? I would love to find someone who relates to my very very traditional ex church.

Well, my path has led me into (Somewhat) the Catholic fold, and I often attend a Eastern Rite liturgy, what most Orthodox would call a "Uniate" church.

Without trying to be overly critical, one of the things I notice most with many Orthodox friends and acquaintances, vis-a-vis a reunion of the West and East, is that they seem to be very attached to old grudges; and very nitpcky on semantic points that I find trivial, and matters of translation from one language to another.
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Gwiwer
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« Reply #2: March 23, 2011, 09:27:02 am »

Was anyone else raised Orthodox Christian? Particularly Greek/Russian. I was baptised and raised in that church, first in a more Russian church (Which liturgies were conducted in english) and then in a church conducted almost entirely in Greek. It is a very old, very strict religion. Though my father (a chokingly avid Orthodox Christian) tries to claim they are less judgemental than other christian religions, I find this untrue. They are so traditional, every single aspect of the church has been the same as long as the church has existed (or so they believe). My father sees change as a sign of weakness where I see it as strength. I have a lot of anger over my upbringing, I love my father but he forced the religion onto me and is still forcing it on to my younger sisters. Who, like me, will grow up and simply refuse to go or care.

My main issue is first of all many core beliefs (i.e. You fast, serve, be nice to everyone unless they are gay or different from you, or you will rot in hell), as well as the complete TRADITION of every damn thing. Sunday church is the same every week, though the gospel reading changes depending on the week (which is specific to the date and the same every year), the only changing thing is the sermon. Which, of course, I had to listen to in Greek, then english Tongue

 They shun anything modern or new. When I was fourteen I joined a youth group for a protestant church which was much more liberal, and it renewed my faith termporarily. I wanted to go to the protestant church, not just their group, but dad of course said "You can go, but it is an incomplete truth. The Orthodox church is the true way blah blah blah" In case it wasnt clear I have some issues with my upbringing. Did anyone else grow up in this church? Any Greek Orthodox specific isssues or christian issues in general? I would love to find someone who relates to my very very traditional ex church.

I grew up in a Ukrainian Catholic church which was essentially completely Orthodox in practice and only really differed from a standard Ukrainian Orthodox church in that it is in complete communion with the Catholic church, so you had to get the approval of the Catholic bishop in charge of the diocese which the church belonged to in order to do things which technically violated Catholic doctrine. Like, for instance, if a married person wanted to become a priest, they would be able to do so, but they would need to get the approval of the bishop first. Also, dates for celebrating Christmas, Easter, and whatnot were the same as Roman Catholic churches, though many people would also celebrate them to some degree according to the Orthodox calendar as well. Everything else was in line with Orthodox practices including the use of Church Slavonic which is a language I still find delightfully incomprehensible despite some serious attempts to figure it out.

When I was in high school I had some of the same feelings about my church as you. The whole traditional nature of it just seemed sort of silly and uncomfortable in a claustrophobic kind of way. I wanted out really bad and tried everything I could to get my mother to allow me to attend a Baptist church instead. I didn't even really like the whole Baptist thing and thought a lot of people at the Baptist church were weird and had a creepy kind of cult-like vibe, but I didn't care too much because it was a nice change of pace from the stifling formality of my usual church. 

As I got older, I really started to appreciate my old church, though. I began to see the deep spiritual potential in many of the traditions and practices that I had previously passed off as empty pageantry and a waste of time. Gradually, I lost most of my faith in the Christian religion, but, to this day, I still appreciate the Orthodox church and, to a lesser extent, the Catholic church. I think that if I were to return to Christianity for some reason, I would almost definitely end up being Orthodox, though I don't really see myself ever returning to Christianity. I still respect many aspects of it, though.

So, yeah, I know what you're going through. I went through pretty much the same exact thing. I think once you get a little distance from the church and have time to think you'll probably cool down a little and start to be able to be a little more reflective about things. I wouldn't be surprised if that eventually leads you to start appreciating some of the traditions and practices you once disdained in a new way as you start to see some of the spiritual potential they offer. Or, maybe not, I don't know. After all, I was never able to fully reconcile with the faith, though most of that has to do with problems I have with the beliefs of Christianity in general rather than any specific issues with one particular denomination.
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